Below are descriptions for the programs offered by NovakTalks – All programs can be tailored to meet your staff or volunteer needs. Sessions can be combined to meet the needs of multiple contingencies over a period of consecutive days. Sessions can also be repeated for different audiences or a combined audience. Custom programs can also be developed for:

     Hazing Prevention Teams

     Risk Management Teams

     Resident Advisors

     Campus Safety

Promoting Self Governance with Confidence: Training Standards Boards

(1.0 - 1.5 hour workshop)

How many times in the past year have your students been faced with the challenge of coming up with sanctions to address chapter or individual behavior? How many conversations have you been part of where it felt like the sanction assigned was nothing more than a prescribed remedy?

In this train the trainer session, participants will be taught a sanctioning model intended to truly change behavior, as well as techniques for utilizing the model in student conduct board trainings.


Effectively Sanctioning Hazing Violations

(1.0 - 1.5 hour workshop)

The completion of adjudicating a hazing case often leaves us feeling as if there is little or no hope of creating long-term sustained change. We must recognize that the sanctions must be designed in accordance with the seriousness of the violation and the circumstances surrounding the conduct.

This interactive dialogue during which you will learn strategies for assigning sanctions that have a higher probability of both educating the organization and providing insight as to how the group can develop more appropriate behavior.

We Have a Program for That: How do you know what you are doing is making a difference?

(1.0 - 1.5 hour workshop)

Have you ever wondered if the program you offer or speaker you hire is actually making a difference in student behavior?

This interactive session is designed to help you apply both adult learning theory and best practices for decreasing high-risk behaviors to your educational efforts. You will practice conducting an audit of current programming efforts and learn how to increase the likelihood that your efforts are more likely to be making the change you are looking for in your community.

Do Something! Acting on reports of high risk behavior

(1.0 hour roundtable discussion)

·   Using partnerships to act (headquarters, advisors, campus officials, volunteers, students)

·   When to take interim action to stop all activities or cancel events

·   How to implement interim action in such a way as to prevent problems and not punish before a case has been heard

·   Conducting an investigation to determine if official action should be taken 

·   Not substituting “informal” action for system processes  because it is easier

·   How to take action outside of official systems - it is okay to have a conversation


Staff Risk Management Session: Acting on reports of high risk behavior

(1.5 hours a broader dialogue on risk management)

The primary barrier to engagement in proactive risk management is the way educators have approached the risk management discussion with students.  Rules, policies, and a litany of “thou shalt nots” remain the focus of many risk management programs and resources.  Even though we understand that student learning occurs best through experiential and collaborative efforts, we have not yet shifted away from the language of policy and laws that originally shaped risk management discussions.

In order to re-conceptualize campus risk management, institutions and organizations must take students beyond policies and compliance and into the shades of gray presented by ethics, value congruence, responsibility to self and others, and critical thinking. A successful system will adopt an approach that identifies potential and perceived risks involved in activities and operations while weighing those risks against the values that define the campus community. It will also include systems that monitor organization activities and provide opportunities for community members to take corrective actions and proactive steps to minimize risk.

This session will offer staff the framework for building more successful risk management dialogues with students.

Real Change

(1.5 hour session

How many times in the past year have you been faced with the directive to come up with an activity or program to address a organization, campus, department, or community “problem”?  How many task forces, committees, or work group meetings have you attended where you leave feeling as if all that has been accomplished is a dialogue about the problem and maybe, if you were lucky, a new project has been added to your plate?  Have you ever wondered if what you are doing has actually made a difference or positively influenced the problem?  Many of us have found ourselves in these situations and yet we cannot simply ignore the request or need to address concerns on campus or within our organizations.  What we can do is use our professional skills and talents to find viable solutions and make real change.

The time has come for us to step away from programming to the problem and to successfully address the problem by applying the tools of social science.   Join us for a high-energy presentation that will challenge and empower you to think about problem reduction in a new and innovative way.

For Alcohol Specific Session: This session can be modified to include a dialogue on behavior problems related to alcohol use and the impact of environmental norms on this behavior with simple but real life scenarios where leadership evaluate what they are really trying to promote within team or organizations and how they may be missing the mark.

Integrating Action into Organization Operations

(3.0 - 4.0 hour session)

This session will examine how campus leadership can develop an initiative that will empower students and student organizations to engage in pro-social behavior. Emphasis will be placed on how participants can build an action oriented culture on their campus by using research identified in the Bystander literature. Recognizing that there are researched reasons why people choose not to act the facilitator will work with participants  to develop strategies for empowering students and the greater campus community to act on community values.

This workshop will empower participants to:

•        Articulate the importance of moving through all the stages of intervention in order to bring 

          about change.

•         How to focus on the final two stages of Bystander Intervention: Stage 3–Feel Responsible

          for Solving the Problem & Stage 4–Possessing the Necessary Skills to Act.

•         Challenge themselves and their community to feel responsible for acting when behaviors

           or incidents are not aligned with values.

•         Learn about how to teach students successful intervention strategies that will provide

          opportunities to respectfully and effectively intervene and provide the opportunity to

          de-escalate challenging situations.

•         Utilize the identified barriers to action to evaluate environments in order to identify where 

          barriers are often reinforced.

•         Design organization operations/systems as well as basic informational programs in such a way as   

          to remove barriers to action. ”

•         Design strategically developed training to create environments in their

          community/organization that empower individuals to act in alignment with the values of

          their organization.


The Advisor as a Teacher

(1.5 hour interactive)

Learning is a dynamic process that is not confined to traditional classroom approach.  It is also applicable to the more informal situations characteristic of student organization life as such advisors, both volunteer and paid professionals should consider the importance of developing a “curriculum” they will use when serving as the teacher for the groups they interact with. In order for learning to occur in the extra curriculum advisors must decide on goals or outcomes and then plan “encountered situations” for or with students that are designed to modify the behavior of the participants in the direction of predetermined goals. – Theory has taught us that intellectual growth and personal growth are not opposites or mutually exclusive.  This allows approaching our work with a broader perspective – Curriculum and extra curriculum become, not competitors, but different aspects of some collegiate learning experience, each contributing something unique to the education of students. In simple terms, the advisor serving as a teacher influences the group members to structure experiences that contribute to their intellectual and personal growth or that contribute to the intellectual growth of others.

Join in a thought provoking dialogue that will challenge participants to consider the context in which we advise, the influence that context has on the lessons we need to teach the students we advise, and the strategies for creating an intentional plan of action that allows us to rise to the responsibility of being actively engaged in student learning.

Facilitating Problem Solving with the Organization you advise

(1.5 hour)

How many times in the past year have you been called upon to assist Chapter leadership to solve a problem with risk management, chapter operations, or recruitment? How often have seen the chapter struggle to make necessary change?   Have you ever wondered if what you are suggesting as solutions or what you see the chapter leadership trying has actually made a difference or positively influenced the problem?  Many of us have found ourselves in these situations and yet we cannot simply ignore the request or need to address concerns within the chapters we advise.  What we can do is use our professional skills and talents to find viable solutions and make real change.

Using a problem solving approach utilized by several inter/national organizations and countless college campus departments across the country participants will actively engage in:

•         The application of a framework for identifying the “real problem”

•         Designing strategies

•         Developing activities that will move chapters towards solutions.